"The house just feels warmer," said Rosemary MacLaughlin, of her newly insulated home in Katonah.
Though her husband "of many years," Harry MacLaughlin, disagreed slightly—the number on the thermostat was 68 before the energy upgrade and still read 68, he said—he did say he noticed some changes.
"It's definitely less drafty and I do think the furnace is running less," he said of their 1954 Cape Cod home. He didn't think the retrofits would be possible given the home's sloped roof, but an Energize Bedford-approved contractor was able to cut a small hole in a linen closet, suck out the old insulation, and blow in new cellulose, effectively sealing the house.
The MacLaughlin's home—along with 22 others in town—is now designated by the town of Bedford as an energy-upgraded home, complete with an official Energize program seal that recognizes their home as one that has reduced energy consumption between 10 and 40 percent. They received the seal and a participation certificate in a town hall ceremony Tuesday night.
Officials say this gives homeowners another marketing tool if they were to sell their home. They plan to work with local real estate agents to market the designation.
"We hope is that this will grow from 23 homeowners to two and three hundred homeowners," Bedford Energy Director, Mark Thielking, told Patch.
"We truly believe that having an energy-efficient home will become a social norm and this will be like the [introduction of] seatbelts 40 years ago. No one understood them, no one wore them. But now you wouldn't get in a car without them. We feel we are at the very cusp of that."
Bedford's will now be called Energize New York because it is a model for the state, said program director, Tom Bregman. "2012 will be about replicating this program to 13 other communities in the Northern Westchester consortium. You here tonight represent the early adopters—you are the ones that are forging the way."
In addition to the homeowner recognition, a $2,000 check was presented by Bedford 2020 to Joan Arnold, executive director of A-Home, in recognition of their achievements in the .
Bedford supervisor Lee Roberts heaped praise on the program's administrators and its participants.
"You've done all this work with no special recognition or remuneration. We are so grateful for all you've done for the town, she said to Thielking. And to the homeowners gathered, she added, "Each one of you is a pioneer in Bedford's program, we salute you for helping us reach our goal."
The homeowners recognized include:
Sean and Alissa Cahillane
Barbara and Andrew Chintz
The First Presbyterian Church of Katonah
Don and Margie Coe
Olivia and John Farr
Mary Beth and Evan Kass
Tom and Ursula La Motte
The Lovitz Family
Harry and Rosemary MacLaughlin
Richard and Eve Marx
Daniel and Celeste Potash
Ken and Lee Roberts
Gerard and Josephine Voege
Tim and Michelle Fisher